I now require that the older boys stay in bed until 8:00 AM each morning.
If they get up before then, they are allowed to come out to grab a kitty to snuggle with, say hello and get a hug, or go potty. After any of that, back to bed.
I usually try to wake up with Blaine around 6:45 - 7:00 AM. We talk while I help him get ready; a pleasant time free of disruptions, as you might well imagine. He leaves at 7:30 AM and then I take a shower or stretch and read or stare until the boys wake up.
Believe you me, it is a mighty unpleasant sight to watch a groggy-eyed little guy stumble out of the room way too early, especially considering how late their bed-time is, and particularly when that signals The End. The end of my morning down-time and the beginning onslaught of the day's demands. But these little guys are hell-bent on spending every waking hour in our presence, even if they have to pull themselves out of bed at an ungodly hour in a heap of total exhaustion to do it. Bless their precious little hearts.
I have had enough. I need that quiet-time in the morning and they need more sleep. I've come to understand (though don't always remember) that the more structured the expectations, the greater the success in navigating through all the pit-falls of daily life with children. Thus: the eight o'clock rule. They grumbled a bit about it at first, but this week's "test drive" has gone very well. Both boys have both fallen back asleep upon the return to bed and wake up refreshed at a much more reasonable time. As for little Jamie . . . he wakes up "whenever" and I snuggle with him in the solitude, though it is usually much later time than the boys typically attempt to wake up (unless they are out-cold).
I got the idea from Steady Mom. Their house rule is that their children need to stay in their rooms until 8:00 AM, but since my guys don't have their own room and go to bed comparatively late, they will stay in their bed.
So far, so wonderful.
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